We had driven this route hundreds of times before. But this day was different.
For 19 days I had stayed indoors, imprisoned, unable to walk outside into the warmth of the July sun. Away from home and loved ones, stripped of my privacy, and denied outdoor scenery except for a few trees in the distance, life came to a halt.
But today, driving home from the hospital, I gazed at every house we passed as if for the first time. I relished the open fields and farmland neatly arranged in rows of fruit trees or unending lines of vegetables. I basked in the fresh, odor-free breeze. I saw beauty in it all.
Why? My perspective had changed. Beauty bloomed where previously I saw dirt, properties in need of maintenance, and vegetation awaiting care.
That ride home was almost 24 years ago, but it came to mind when I read this quotation by Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl):
“I don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”
My 19-day hospitalization was nothing compared to her ordeal of hiding from the Nazi’s. But her advice could make all our lives better. A similar thought echoes in 1Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Let’s look at life with fresh eyes, grateful for the little things. What is the beauty that still remains in your life? Will you allow it to fill your thoughts today?